By Anthony Ogbonna
Ahead of the 2019 presidential elections, political parties, especially the major ones, have begun releasing election schedules and costing their nomination forms for aspirants who wish to pick them up and fly the parties’ flags.
Although, many parties have released what the cost of their forms are, with free forms for women and those living with physical challenges( in the case of the Action Democratic Party, ADP), this report however, focuses on the two major political parties in the country- APC and PDP.
The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, party has released its timetable for the 2019 primary elections, with presidential aspirants to pay N45 million naira for forms.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, too was reported to have also fixed a fee of ₦12m million naira for the expression of interest and nomination forms for its presidential aspirants.
Note that, a breakdown of the APC’s schedule as revealed by Mr Emma Ibediro, the National Organising Secretary of the APC, it shows that for the presidential aspirants, the Expression of Interest form costs N5million while the Nomination form costs N40 million.
However, based on the reported amount of the PDP, while the expression of interest form for the presidential aspirants costs N2 million, the nomination form costs N10 million.
If this being the case, it means that APC’s form is way more expensive than that of the PDP by ₦33 million.
Also, for the Governorship forms, APC said Aspirants would pay N22.5 million for both expression of Interest and the Nomination forms. This entails that while the Nomination forms costs N20 million, the expression of interest form costs N2.5 million.
This is a sharp contrast to that of the PDP which says that the governorship form costs N6 million.
Also, while the APC’s aspirants to the House of Assembly would pay N3.8million and the Senate N7million, that of the PDP House of Representatives and the state House of Assembly cost N2.5 million and N600,000 respectively.
However, some Nigerians have taken to the micro-blogging site, Twitter, to compare the amounts for the forms for both parties.
Number one bestselling author and former aide to Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Pastor Reno Omokri, in his comparism, said that the APC’s form is too exorbitant.
Pastor Omokri, in a couple of tweets, said “₦45 million for a Presidential nomination form is too expensive. You make mockery of the #NotTooYoungToRun Act. Your nomination forms cost 4 times what @OfficialPDPNig charges. Nigeria needs a #NotTooPoorToRun Bill because of what you are doing #RenosDarts.”
For a twitter user, Adegoke Pamilerin, @thepamilerin, he opined that, ““APC PRESIDENTIAL FORM (N55,000,000) PDP PRESIDENTIAL FORM (N12,000,000) Imagine after paying this huge to become the president of a country, how are you going to serve the people without sorting out your own personal pocket first? Laughs in NotTooYoungToRun”
For another twitter user, Bodu Bcube Bayo, @bcube234, he says, “Come to think of it How much should a candidature’s form go for? Even 5M which the PDP is selling hers is not any less better. Whether it’s free, 5k,10k,1m,5m,55m or 100m the country is full of corrupted minds (public or private sectors).”
For God’s Son @ChuxEkere, “Even the PDP nomination form is expensive too.”
For OLAT SONICPRESS NEWS, @olatdove, ”they want Young people to participate but the nomination form is higher, where they want youths to get #55 to buy form?”